As we are likely approaching continued months of COVID-19 restrictions, some people are finding it challenging to keep up with the pandemic recommendations and regulations. Some would describe this as ‘COVID Fatigue’ which can be characterized by a declining mental and emotional state. A new survey by Mental Health America reported 75% of workers have experienced burnout, with 40% saying it was directly due to the coronavirus pandemic. For some people, the fear of contracting COVID-19 was enough to motivate them to initially change their behaviours, however, COVID Fatigue illustrates the difficulty some people have with continuing to alter their daily habits.
Here are some ideas to stay on track:
Although it is not recommended to visit friends and family during this time, it is important to find new ways to remain connected to our loved ones. We can use technology to keep in touch with them, virtual visits are an excellent way to remain in contact and visually connect with those we care about.
Many people are missing going to the gym or participating in team sports. We know that exercise is a great way to stay fit and increase positive moods and behaviours. It is encouraged for people to get out and walk, jog, or run. This can be an individual or family activity.
With routines and schedules being disrupted, it is likely sleep has been impacted as well. It is important to keep on a proper sleep schedule as it can impact our thoughts, moods, and behaviours throughout the day.
Some people have found journaling to be a great way to note their thoughts and feelings. Especially during this time, it may be helpful to write about gratitude, start a time capsule, or note any thoughts and feelings that are challenging.
Mindfulness and mediation also allows us to learn how to be calm and reduce challenging thoughts. This can be a new way to learn how to relax and can be done through breathing exercises, colouring, or yoga.
Reducing media consumption is also important as dramatic social media stories can take a toll on our mental health. When we hear too much negative information, it can impact our overall well being. We can try limiting our media intake to just a newspaper or the news.
Negative thoughts, such as worries, catastrophic thinking, or over generalization is typically normal during highly stressful times. It is ideal to address these thoughts promptly when you feel the thoughts are unmanageable. It is important to notice if you need to talk to a professional about your overall mental wellbeing.